Training as a catalyst for sustainability in organizations


Article by Alba Bonàs, Educational Consulting Manager

In the words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, 2021 is a critical year to curb climate change and “the urgency to act has never been clearer”. This Decade of Action needs resilient organizations that are clearly committed to moving forward on the path to sustainability. But is a sustainable organization possible without the commitment of the people who constitute it? 

At Anthesis Lavola we firmly believe in sustainability built together with the people who are part of the organizations: people who are responsible, capable, and committed to the challenge of sustainability. To do this, a catalyst is needed to empower and activate sustainability within organizations: the training and involvement of all members of their teams. 

The role of training and awareness-raising is key: training for transformation, connecting the purpose of organizations with the values ​​of their employees and integrating sustainability into their day-to-day lives, both inside and outside their work environment. 

As Paul Polman said in this article, “the key to creating a vibrant and sustainable business is to find ways to get all workers, from senior executives to assembly line workers, to be personally involved in the daily corporate sustainability efforts”. 

How do we understand training? 

With over 40 years of experience in environmental education and awareness, at Anthesis Lavola we have deep trust in the transformative power of training as an activator for change towards a more sustainable present and future. Based on this, we combine our experience in educational methodologies with our expertise in sustainability to develop awareness and training proposals that promote a change of culture in organizations, from managers to each of its workers. 

Based on this, our training is based on an educational methodology that follows the didactic principles set out in The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice (OECD, 2010): 

  • Participants are at the heart of the learning process. For this reason, it is necessary to contextualize the formations to their reality and to enhance experiential dynamics. 
  • Learning is social in nature and therefore we incorporate participation, teamwork and collaboration. 
  • Without emotions there is no learning, and we take this premise into account when designing proposals that are in tune with the motivations of the participants. 
  • Everyone learns differently, so it’s important to combine different strategies to connect with each and every participant. 
  • Effort is essential for learning, so proposals should encourage recipients to participate, ask questions, and reflect on what they are experiencing. 
  • Assessment encourages learning and continuous improvement, so we incorporate feedback and assessment strategies to generate an optimal learning environment. 
  • Learning is building horizontal connections, which is why our trainings seek to connect the learning acquired with other aspects of the daily lives of the participants. 

What type of training do we offer? 

Every organization is different and so are their training requirements. In addition, there are often different needs within the same organization. In general, we differentiate the following types of training based on their objectives: 

  • General awareness for teams, in which the goal is to help people be more aware of how the factors that influence sustainability affect their daily lives and those of others. These are trainings in which awareness and consciousness are prioritized, and in which basic knowledge on sustainability is provided for decision-making and measures based in favour of the integrity of the environment, the viability of the economy and social justice. 
  • Leadership and sustainability strategies, focused on people in management positions, in which the goal is to give the tools to lead sustainability in organizations, train and convince that sustainability is not a passing fad, but a key competitive factor for the future of organizations, the planet and those who live on it. 
  • Technical training in sustainability, in which the aim is to train in relation to different specific aspects related to sustainability, to improve the competitiveness and professional development of their teams (for example, specific training on life cycle analysis of products, sustainable financing, SDGs, etc.). 

Apart from these typologies, we find variants for onboarding processes, to convey the values ​​of the organization to new recruits, or for suppliers, with the aim of improving sustainability in its supply chain. 

Whichever type of training, they all combine our expertise in sustainability with our experience in facilitating and streamlining content using different strategies to reach each and every participant. 

In what formats do we provide training? 

We offer training in standard format, as well as personalized training based on specific needs: 

  • Online campus through our ub-learning platform, with a wide variety of courses structured in short and dynamic microlearning modules, contents that enhance the intrinsic motivation of users and with games and gamification strategies for a fun and meaningful experience. 
  • Sustainability Talks framed under an ongoing communication campaign to boost the training experience and encourage the participation of recipients. Papers on sustainability combine expert presentations with case studies and participatory dynamics. 
  • Training jam, a workshop facilitated by our experts face-to-face or in an online format, in which different participatory dynamics are carried out in order to have a profitable and meaningful learning experience. 
  • Escape game, a fun training to raise awareness about sustainability while generating teambuilding. 

In short, at Anthesis Lavola we want to activate sustainability in organizations through effective, dynamic and attractive training that promotes, trains and awakens the intrinsic desire to collaborate, transform and integrate sustainability in people and organizations’ daily lives.